I don’t ruminate – much – over this phase of life but it does get my attention from time to time. For instance – I have noticed lately how frequently some form of the word “actuarial” creeps into the conversation. I am scaring the hell out of 80 years and actuarially speaking as a male in America I am about at the maximum for time in service, so to speak.

I am worried.  I used to think that growing old would be an honorable and highly esteemed phase of life.  Now I find it is just growing old.  Mostly luck and little esteem.  Of course, I have an adequate supply of self esteem bordering on arrogance, but that doesn’t count with most folk.  I have managed to  fool a few people into believing I am worthy of respect and even love but nothing mitigates the onrush of the years.  

I don’t ruminate – much – over this phase of life but it does get my attention from time to time.  For instance – I have noticed lately how frequently some form of the word “actuarial” creeps into the conversation.  I am scaring the hell out of 80 years and actuarially speaking as a male in America I am about at the maximum for time in service, so to speak.  

Just the other day my dentist obliquely referred to the lesser of several options for filling a gap soon to appear in my uppers.  Two or three thousand bucks for a tooth reconstruction of some kind or a simple removable bridge at a fraction of the cost specially for someone at my stage of life seems to make some strange sense.  OK, he didn’t exactly say those words but I got the message.  I am going to take his advise under advisement.  Pretty sure I am going for the cheap route.  After all, actuarially speaking – – well you see my point.

Another case in point: I retired this past year.  I didn’t work for nine months of ’09.  I figured that meant that I would get most of what I paid in  taxes back.  Guess what?  I did.  Well not yet.  But my electronic submissions have been electronically accepted by state and federal agencies and I can look forward to electronically enhancing my bank account and possibly acquiring some cutting edge electronic toy – you know – to add a little fun to my twilight years.  Don’t worry.  I never start breakfast until the eggs are in the kitchen, and I haven’t got any immediate travel plans to destinations beyond the sunset.

This actuarial thinking comes to us all but when it comes to “you” in particular it is different.  Millions have gone on to that great dark beyond.  So why can’t I just shut the hell up and shuffle on off when the times comes?  The simple answer is: I don’t want to.  

Then there is CA’s mother who lives with us and is weakening by daily degrees.  She would pull the string in a moment if she could just get rid of all the pain, discomfort and boredom of being nearly totally incapacitated.  She has no designs on being here too long.  Ready and willing, her DNR in a quick draw holster.  I am sure we will all get there but not just now.  But isn’t that the way?  I don’t know.

Well, I am going to have one more sip of this very high quality Christmas gift bourbon and lay down with a new book.  Interestingly, in each of these books on my side table, people get shot, stabbed or blown up quite frequently.  This is entertainment?

 Be well, and stay tuned.

Jerry Henderson


This was supposed to be 2 to 3 inches as we were barely on the edge of this system.  Guess what?  It is, after all, winter in Maine where nothing is actually predictable and everything is possible.  There is no need to get out except on snow shoes and to keep the access points open.  I hope the sun shines in your heart wherever you are.


An old friend of mine, Carlo Buscemi, who ran Carlo’s Restaurant on Calder Ave. in Beaumont TX once – way back in the dark ages of the 1970’s – said, as I entered the place, “Hey, Jerry, what you gona eat?” I told him I felt like a little pasta. He then told me that if I ate what he wanted me to have it was on the house. I asked what’s going on, and he said he was coming up with a new menu and wanted to test a dish out on someone. I was all for it. I am essentially a scientist at heart.

He called It Pasta Soliata, or pasta alone. I am not sure of the spelling and neither are the translators I have used. A little oil with saut?ed garlic in it, a little shaved parmesan, and a dash of nutmeg. Just a sniff. No cream as in Alfredo. Crusty bread. It was a heaping serving and it was delicious. A real pasta lover’s dish. You don’t want to actually taste nutmeg as much as be aware of it’s presence. I have found that over the years I like to add a dash of cayenne pepper as well. Carlo served a dark beer with it but I now prefer a good Burgundy or Cabernet, or maybe if it is available, a Beaujolais Nouveau. Why no Italian wine? You got me there.

Well I had some leftover pasta this morning in the ice box and so I warmed it up with cups # 2 and 3 of dark roast. Quality oil is a must. I didn’t have any shaved Parmesan but the regular bottled version worked well. I was impressed. I ate it all. I’m siting here thinking that a couple of poached eggs on top would have been acceptable. It’s funny: the older I get the more I find that any food is acceptable breakfast fare. Good luck with yours.

Bene apitite!

These are  color photographs.  It’s just that there are only two colors available.  Black and white.  Is that supposed to be funny?

Resinous Sentinels in the Snow



Broken Branch



Former Sledding Site



This Beauty is only Steps Away



This Bench is Made for Sitting 



Vestigial Snowperson


THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER TO ANYONE WHO DID, OR MAY IN THE FUTURE SEND, GIVE OR OTHERWISE BEQUEATH TO ME A GIFT – either at Christmas, or for a birthday or just because I am an unusually nice guy.

I know that when you order stuff to send to me you don’t have much control over how it is packed for shipping. But wait: I have a suggestion for you in just such a case. Later. 

I am fed up with the packing and shipping process currently practiced by those people from whom you order those wonderful gifts to send to me – an unusually nice guy.

I refer, of course, to the packing materials used to keep things from bumping into each other and breaking. First on my list of cursed packing materials is PLASTIC PEANUTS! They are not peanuts. If they were I’d shut up. i love peanuts and would love to get some. I don’t break out in hives or go into some kind of anaphylactic shock. I just love peanuts. You can take the plastic kind and stuff them anywhere your imagination suggests. They spill and then become irretrievable either running away or sticking to your fingers in the wrong places. I would gladly shoot between the eyes the jerk who invented them and thought he should get the Nobel Prize for shipping innovation.

Next on my hit list is the PLASTIC FORM FITTING BUBBLES that require a chain saw to open. I have come “that” close to slicing my hand, finger, or wrist trying to open something sent to me by someone who “loves” me. I am given pause to wonder. The last thing I opened from this kind of entombment went flying across the room, benefiting from humongous stored up energy in the bending and un-releasing enclosure, and banged against the wall, shattering an innocent yet non-essential little bowl that no one will miss.

But that’s not the point. The point is this: It causes ill will. it causes people who normally don’t cuss to cuss. It raises blood pressure. It causes injury. It makes people entertain fantasies of vacuum packing in bullet proof plastic the guy, and to be fair, or the woman who invented this horror and laying them out in the sunshine to boil while their friends and families try futilely to open their enclosures.

Now comes those little PLASTIC AIR BAGS. They seem so hi-tec and clean. They are in fact used by a lot of hi-tec companies to further their image of being clean and green. Excuse me, but plastic is not clean or hi-tec if you are thinking about the carbon footprint thing. It is plastic. Petroleum based. The same thing those “peanuts” mentioned above are made of. Oh, I know, we are told that these things are biodegradable. Sure. They become dust in 16,000,004 years. Whew, I thought we’d have to put up with that pile of crap for ever.

What to do? Here is is. Have all that stuff sent to you and you repack it in – are you listening? Newspaper! It does become dust in short order. It can be used to start your fires in your heating stoves. It can be safely put in landfills and even re-used for – packing! Yeah, well I know what you are saying. “I read the paper on line and don’t have any news paper. Go to the grocery – you still eat don’t you – and on the way out pick up an arm load of those weekly throwaway papers. Just the ticket. Then re-pack MY gifts with that and YOU deal with all that garbage that really should be sent back to the people who sell that stuff and let them deal with it

I know – it’s going to be a burden at first. But you will come to it sooner than you think. It’s the right thing to do. You will have this wonderful feeling one morning deep within, that you are actually doing something of lasting good – at last.

I appreciate your support. Be well, and stay tuned.

Jerry Henderson